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Re: Visitors Asked To Be Bear Aware in Glacier National Park

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avatar Visitors Asked To Be Bear Aware in Glacier National Park
July 22, 2010 03:00PM
Visitors Asked To Be Bear Aware in Glacier National Park
Date: July 22, 2010
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – It is the peak season at Glacier National Park and that means an increased chance of people encountering wildlife both on park trails and roads. Glacier is home to many large mammals including elk, moose, deer, bears, wolves, mountain lions, lynx, wolverines, bighorn sheep and mountain goats to name a few. Drivers need to always be alert in the park as vehicle encounters with wildlife can be fatal or cause serious injury to both the animal and people. Every year thousands of animals die on national park roads throughout the U.S. Wildlife-versus-vehicle mortalities in Glacier so far this year include a long-tailed weasel, a mink and two black bears. The bears were both cubs and both killed in the Many Glacier area in May. One was struck by a driver who immediately reported the accident. The other was found dead of injuries consistent with being hit by a vehicle. Drivers are reminded to obey all park speed limits, and adjust for conditions such as rain and darkness.

Park managers recommend that hikers always carry bear spray while in bear country. Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright noted, “Be knowledgeable about how to use bear spray and have it readily accessible and not stowed away in a pack.” Bear spray is meant to be used in the case of imminent attacks only and is not intended to be used as a repellent. It should never be sprayed on gear (hiking and/or camping equipment) or around campsites. “Under no circumstances should bear spray create a false sense of security or serve as a substitute for standard safety precautions in bear country,” Cartwright added.

Park hikers, backpackers and campers are all urged to familiarize themselves with standard safety precautions and to follow them when in bear country. These precautions include:

· Never travel alone or after dark
· Make (loud) reoccurring noise when in bear country (especially near streams, brushy areas, hilltops and blind curves)
· Keep children close by and within sight
· Always be aware of local surroundings
· Keep observant and alert for evidence of bears and mountain lions and/or their activity
· Do not approach any wildlife; use binoculars, telescopes, or telephoto lenses to get closer looks
· Trail running is not recommended as it can lead to surprising bears at close range

Visitors are also reminded to keep food and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes and never leave food unattended in campgrounds or picnic areas. Garbage must be deposited into a bear-resistant trash can or dumpster. These actions help keep bears from becoming conditioned to human food, and help keep park visitors and their personal property safe.

Cartwright notes that Glacier National Park can be filled with many potential dangers. “We want everyone to have a safe experience while they visit and enjoy the park.” Go to the park’s web page for details about: Bears, Mountain Lions, Wildlife, Water and Watch Your Step at http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/yoursafety.htm.

Visitors should report any bear or mountain lion sightings or signs of bear or mountain lion activity to the nearest visitor center or ranger station or by calling 406-888-7800 as soon as possible. This information helps park rangers keep animals away from unnatural food sources as well as helps prevent wildlife from becoming habituated to humans.
avatar Re: Visitors Asked To Be Bear Aware in Glacier National Park
July 22, 2010 09:28PM
Maybe Glacier needs some signs for bears similar to the warnings about deer that are posted in Waterton Townsite:



Presumably this sign applies to the 12ft tall deer they have in Waterton.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Visitors Asked To Be Bear Aware in Glacier National Park
July 22, 2010 09:53PM
Hmmm....maybe I should change my post to say that a guy walking around ice cream cone or no may look more mountable than a cow.



Old Dude
Re: Visitors Asked To Be Bear Aware in Glacier National Park
July 23, 2010 01:14PM
A few years back I was night hiking on the JMT for like 4 hours with a headlamp (I had gotten lost...long story), anyway recently someone asked if I encountered any 'rouges'. I asked of course what is a rouge? A single male bear (a real one, not the human kind). I was told that the bears use the same trails, jeez I had no idea! Anyone else ever encountered a 'rouge' whilst night hiking?

James
avatar Re: Visitors Asked To Be Bear Aware in Glacier National Park
July 23, 2010 01:43PM
Quote
rroland
A few years back I was night hiking on the JMT for like 4 hours with a headlamp (I had gotten lost...long story), anyway recently someone asked if I encountered any 'rouges'. I asked of course what is a rouge? A single male bear (a real one, not the human kind). I was told that the bears use the same trails, jeez I had no idea! Anyone else ever encountered a 'rouge' whilst night hiking?

James


I would have thought that a rouge bear would be a male bear in drag (possibly resembling Sarah Palin). Rogue, perhaps?

Not while night hiking, but several times while camped within sight of trails I've noted them, and deer, sauntering along. [One should remember that many wilderness trails were originally wild animal paths... then people (in this country, first the Native Americans, then the European settlers) started using them because the animals were not stupid in picking routes to travel between points. Turning that around, if one is considering a trail that was specifically built for backcountry hiking, why would an animal prefer bushwhacking if they had a nice path that they could use as long as it is going in the direction that they wish? Again, they are not stupid.]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/23/2010 01:54PM by szalkowski.
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